Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (24)

(26) next ›››

terefl: among the tribes, and enabled him to fend down, as heredi-
tary to his pofterity, the office he had only received himfelf
by eledtion.
On occafion of a new war againft the King of the World, as the
poems emphatically call the Roman emperor, the Druids, to vindi-
cite the honour of the order, began to refume their ancient privi-
lege of chufing the Vergobretus. Garmal, the fon of Tarno, being
deputed by them, came to the grandfather of the celebrated Fingal,
who was then Vergobretus, and commanded him, in the name of
the whole order, to lay down his office. Upon his refufal, a civil
war commenced, which foon ended in almoll: the total extiniflion of
the religious order of the Druids. A few that remained, retired to
the dark receffes of their groves, and the caves they had formerly
ufed for their meditations. It is then we find them in the circle of
Jlones, and unheeded by the world. A total difregard for the order,
and utter abhorrence of the Druidical rites enfued. Under this
cloud of public hate, all that had any knowledge of the religion of
the Druids became extindl, and the nation fell into the laft degree
of ignorance of their rites and ceremonies.
It is no m.atter of wonder then, that Fingal and his fon Offian make
fo little, if any, mention of the Druids, who were the declared enemies
to their fucceffion in the fupreme magiftracy. It is a fingular cafe,
it mufl be allowed, that there are no traces of religion in the poems
afcribed to Offian ; as the poetical compofitions of other nations are
fo clofely connected with their mythology. It is hard to account
for it to thofe who are not made acquainted with the manner of the
old Scottifli bards. That race of men carried their notions of mar.-^
tial honour to an extravagant pitch. Any aid given their heroes in
battle, was thought to derogate from their fame -, and the bards

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence